Challenges In Tourism Development: Can Istanbul Survive Without A Master Plan?
Tourism has been considered as an instrument for urban and regional 'development' policies for many countries, especially for cities/urban areas. Cities are themselves among the important destinations. They offer many touristic attractions together and tourism facilities become a more important part of the urban appearance. Cities are unique and each destination has a different identity, which means that the researchers and planners would develop different planning strategies. What important issue from the view of planners and policy makers is to understand how they would develop the tourism associated with the uniqueness and potentials of the city? The importance of city destinations has increased with the efforts to ensure tourism variation in Turkey and with the new strategies to extend tourism season to the whole year. These developments increased the expectations of Turkish tourism from Istanbul substantially. The primary goal for Istanbul is looking after its historical, cultural and natural resources and providing the city with a global status. For Istanbul's being a global city, its tourism potential should be emphasized and developed. This paper provides a strategic review of the tourism development in Istanbul. It discusses the importance of tourism development and planning for Istanbul and evaluates current situation, in particular its strengths, weakness and problems, limited implementations and solutions, lack of tourism policies and planning issues. In conclusion, it highlights Istanbul urgently needs a clear sustainable tourism development strategy with a planned manner for a long span. To understand what Istanbul has lost without that strategy until now would be very important for shaping future developments.
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